Airstrikes hit Khartoum’s outskirts as Sudan crisis enters sixth week

Airstrikes thumped outer areas of the Sudanese capital Khartoum overnight and on Saturday morning, as the conflict between political rivals which has displaced more than a million and killed hundreds entered its sixth week.

According to eyewitnesses in southern Omdurman and northern Bahri, airstrikes were reported in the region, while some strikes landed at a place near the state broadcaster in Omdurman, the eyewitnesses said.

“We faced heavy artillery fire early this morning, the whole house was shaking,” Sanaa Hassan, a 33-year-old living in the al-Salha neighborhood of Omdurman, told Reuters by phone.

“It was terrifying; everyone was lying under their beds. What’s happening is a nightmare,” she said.

The conflict, which began on April 15, has now entered its sixth week and has led to a mass refugee crisis in the region, displacing almost 1.1 million people and killing some 705 people, according to the World Health Organization.

Clashes have erupted once again in the Darfur region and in the cities of Nyala and Zalenjei in recent days.

In the Nyala clashes, both sides have blamed each other for initiating the fight in one of the country’s largest cities.

Ever since the war broke out, the rivals – Sudan’s army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) – have blamed each other for starting the conflict, which has led to a collapse in law and order throughout the country.

A local activist said on Saturday morning that there were occasional gun battles near the city’s main market, which falls near the army’s headquarters.

The war in the northeast African country broke out in Khartoum over a disagreement to integrate the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) into the army and over the strong winds under an internationally backed deal of turning Sudan into a democracy from its current autocratic state.

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